"Twas The Night Before Jesus Came"

'Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house Not a creature was praying, not one in the house. Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care In hopes that Jesus would not come there. The children were dressing to crawl into bed. Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap. When out of the East there arose such a clatter. I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash, Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash! When what to my wondering eyes should appear But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here. With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray I knew in a moment this must be THE DAY! The light of His face made me cover my head It was Jesus! returning just like He had said. And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth, I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself. In the Book of Life which He held in His hand Was written the name of every saved man. He spoke not a word as He searched for my name; When He said "it's not here" my head hung in shame. The people whose names had been written with love He gathered to take to His Father above. With those who were ready He rose without a sound. While all the rest were left standing around. I fell to my knees, but it was too late; I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate. I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight; Oh, if only I had been ready tonight. In the words of this poem the meaning is clear; The coming of Jesus is drawing near. There's only one life and when comes the last call We'll find that the Bible was true after all!

written by Unknown Author

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Winter - Holidays

Winter - Holidays

During the long winter months, most farm families looked forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas when family and neighbors would gather for a festive meal and a chance to visit. The holidays brought special performances at school, music and singing, a

Was Christmas for kids in the 1920s like it is today?

Merna Bailey tells a Christmas story.

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Merna Bailey Video
Christmas tree decorated with real, burning candles, and sledding and ice skating. Harvey Pickrel remembers skating on a pond near his school. "…Our skates, you'd just clamp to your shoes, the old farm shoes, and they'd come off every once in a while, quite often. So they didn't work too good…we had fun doing it anyway."

Albert Friesen remembers a special treat at Christmastime — peanuts. "Candy or bananas was a big treat in those days. Peanuts, well peanuts…we only had them at Christmas time."

Photo of a group of people ice skating.
A trip down to the local pond for some ice skating was always good for a little winter fun.

The Orphan Train

Norma Ehlers remembers that illness and accidents often claimed the lives of children or parents. Relatives or neighbors often took in orphaned children after the death of parents. Her grandparents raised the child of an acquaintance whose parents had died.

"[They] took him into their home and raised him as their own. And I think you saw a lot of that in those days. In fact, I have an aunt and uncle that had done the same thing with the other child of the family. My parents had done the same thing with a cousin's child from Illinois that needed a home. It was just, you know, heritage of a lot of love and compassion for people." -- Norma Ehlers Quicktime Logo (Quicktime required) Norma Ehlers Photo

From New York to York County: Orphans from much farther away found homes in Nebraska. From the late 1800s through the 1920s, the westbound train brought thousands of orphaned children from New York City to plains states and Nebraska's rural communities. Older boys were strong enough to work in the fields, and girls could help farm women with the endless chores of cooking, cleaning, laundry, sewing, and other duties. When the "Orphan Train," as it was known, stopped in the town of York, and other communities across Nebraska, farm families came to the station and looked over the children on the train. Perhaps a childless couple wanted a very young child. Or maybe a family that had lost a child to illness or accident and was searching for a foster child. The long train trip was frightening for these neglected children from the East Coast, but many children found a new family and a new life in Nebraska. People who came to Nebraska on the Orphan Train now go to Orphan Train reunions to tell their stories.

See What You've Learned!

Try this trivia quiz to see what you've learned about living on a farm in the 1920s.

Written by Claudia Reinhardt.